Coronavirus Raises Concerns about How Americans Pay for Emergency Medical Costs

Coronavirus Raises Concerns about How Americans Pay for Emergency Medical Costs

March 11, 2020         Written By Lynn Oldshue

As the number of coronavirus cases in the United States continues to rise, Americans seem to be thinking about their finances as much as their health. A new study from reveals that 48% of Americans are not confident about covering the costs associated with COVID-19. This includes testing, treatment, prescriptions, hospital/doctor bills, vaccinations, and other medical expenses.

Less than 3% of respondents said they should be responsible for the cost of screening, treatment, or vaccinations. Most respondents said the government should cover these costs, or insurance should cover most or all of it: 41% of participants expect the government to pay for testing, but only 29% say the same for treatment.

Even Americans with insurance appear worried about coronavirus bills. One in five insured respondents said they are not confident that their insurance would adequately cover the costs, and 10% said they were not confident at all.

Roughly one in three Americans said they could cover coronavirus bills with their savings. An additional 42% of participants said they would borrow money to cover costs—22% through a credit card, 12% from family, and 8% through their bank.

These potential medical costs might be particularly threatening for Americans who have credit scores below 700. A study from Elevate revealed that 70% of nonprime borrowers did not have enough in savings to cover $500 in emergency expenses. Thankfully, many Americans use tax season as an opportunity to prepare for these costs. Approximately 20% of Americans put a portion of their tax refund into a rainy day fund, and 18% pay off credit card debt.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of March 11, 2020. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.


About Lynn Oldshue

Lynn Oldshue has written personal finance stories for for twelve years. She majored in public relations at Mississippi State University.
View all posts by Lynn Oldshue
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